Imagine you’ve spent your whole life getting good at playing chess. Everyone you know plays chess. Your family plays chess. Your dad & his dad before him played chess as far back as you can imagine.
Then you hear about a new game, Go. It’s completely unlike chess. The rules are different. It feels totally foreign.
Before you know it, nobody plays Chess anymore. You’re hard pressed to even find a board to buy in any store.
What do you do?
Do you try to play Go with the rules of Chess? Do you force everyone to play your game? Or do you adapt to the situation, unlearn everything about what playing games means to you, and put effort into the new paradigm?
How would your answer change if we were asking about the type of job you have?
The world has changed in a fundamental way. For most of my life my dad worked in a factory. He’d stand on concrete for 14 hours a day, come home exhausted, and then go back the next day to do it all over again.
For most of his life my dad lived in a world without the internet; the biggest game changer in the history of humankind. I think when people look back, historians will count the invention of the connected world head and shoulders above the creation of Gutenberg’s printing press in terms of significance.
I’ve never worked in a factory. The most normal job I’ve had is a graphic designer at an agency and that lasted all of 9 months. After that working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a safari driver was the most normal position I’ve had.
Other than that, I’ve been self employed since the day I graduated college.
The power of internet.
Politicians love to promise people that they can bring manufacturing jobs back to America. Nobody can do that. Least of all a politician.
The only person who can get you a new job is you.
The days of proverbial chess are gone. It’s never coming back. The rules of the money-making game have changed forever. If you keep trying to play by the old agreements, you’d do worse than lose; you’ll never get to play in the first time.
Do yourself a favor, and learn how the new economy of work & effort & value creation works, and then make it work for you.
Otherwise you’ll have to sacrifice your king.